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THE DZAKB0BN IMWBHBBHt
Demands Recognition for the Modern Farmer By PROF. THOMAS C. ATKESON OF nil NATIONAI GRANGE, vm. DELEGATI TO THt NATIONAI INDUSTRIAI CONFERENCE 22 , ;. , ,, , . practical methoj W " - ' J ; , J, , houita t. the u-elfan of ' ' 3 ,.,, Mi- ,,. M,, , the Empt tr, a,u, J. ,n he ,,, ,,, ,n.p. ,,, d t the coherence stated of principles 1 . ,CaL ft .Juries, 'mi mm . - . Mr. Atom has Uen the prohlems of AHa tat . . ami Iht acceptable solution, for discussion i this article. r"ii 1 ' " ' iM IBB BOa .SSSSx f BL" JFIBP (C) Harris Emg DR. 7TH 1 s c. VI kl s ) DfSCUSSING intelligently the farm problem of this country one must Classify, separate, and take up individually the many ramifications that go to make up conditioni as they exist. We must remember to deal with the farmer not only as a laborer, but as an employer; we must remember hii duties and obliga tions; we must not forget the paramount question of production; we should deal with the marketing situa tion, the storage problem, organization, and the financing of the tanner. All these must be considered, all have their bearing on conditions not only as they exist but on the future of the farmer, and the future of the country, as well. There must be the same economic, social and po litical justice which will make farming as profitable and as livable as any other occupation involving the same amount of hard work, business ability and in vestment, or the balance between the production of farming and consumption cannot be maintained. From the standpoint of capital, farming is easily the largest business, and from the standpoint of labor there fa no Other industry that includes within its activities nearly as many laborers, yet through an unfortunate technical meaning, in many minds agriculture is excluded from either Capital or Labor. And it becomes necessary to correct this situation, that remedial conditions when worked out shall recognize the farmers as laborers and the farm owners a capitalists. Specialization in modern farming has been brought ab ut through the necessity of responding to the ever increasing demands of modern industrial and economic developments. The farm is no longer a self-sustaining unit, and its operation requires the highest technical skill and managerial ability with tremendous invest ments in modern labor-saving machinery. Six million farms form America's great, st industry, agriculture, and whether this country shall continue to go ab u1 its many other businesses rests with the uninterrupted operation of these six million farm.-, on which depends the daily supply of food of all the people. The farmers of this country employ more laborers than any other single industry. The daily manual labor of operating farmers in this country is equivalent to that 01 13,000,000 adult workers. The number of operating farmers and their workers is greater than that . I-.1' rers :- all other industries combined. And so that the adjustment of wage disputes may be funda mentally sbundTil should never be forgotten that there is an intimate r lation between wages on the farms and in (ther industries. Higher wages on the farm in evitably means higher price- for farm products. And with high wages in other industries we find that con dition obtains, too. on the farms, for the solidarity of labor ifl such that farmers cannot continue on one wage level while, the rest of labor is on another level. Workers will not remain on the farms if they can obtain more money elsewhere. And so oi necessity the farm owner must meet the wages of labor in the city, and with that is born higher prices of foodstuffs, It is a circle, a vicious circle that the country is traveling, and the signposts around the circle read : I'll get all 1 can." But there are other signs; these are not read for the pace is too swift; on them are lettered: "The more you get, the more it will COSt you to live." And yet everyone cries out against the high cost of living. At the same tune it RlUSl be recognized that much of the complaint of the COSt of living is the result of extravagant living. The cost of living, of course, is high or low as the price of necessities of life nv. above or fall below tin general level of salaries, wages, and income. The present COSt is not due so much to the prices received by the fanners as it is to the litter wastefulness brought about by the abnormal wages paid during the war. when war necessity drove the govern ment and employer working on government contracts to give the sums demanded that the troops in France might lack nothing with which to indict defeat upon the enemy. A recent comparison between farm price. food prices, and wage levels, and reliable government statements, are most favorable to tin contention that the farmers are not receiving the percentage of the final cost of foodstuffs to which they are entitled. Agricultural COStS or income cannot be based satis factorily on either the day or the week as a unit, Con ditions are so variable that it is difficult to prescribe a rule applicable to all localities or any locality at all seasons. This fact, however, must be recognized; It is becoming increasingly difficult for farmers to obtain labor willing to work more hours tl n labor in other industries. All in all, it is shown that the hours of farm labor approximate the hours of labor prescribed for other industries, but the nature of agricultural work is such that it cannot economically adjust itself to a specific hour day. If, however, other industries agree upon a basic day that basic day without question will be the unit of all estimates in farm production costs. toe of the great problems to be taken up by the government is the necessity of remedial legislation that the farmers may co-operate in their marketing. Economic and industrial conditions necessitate this. There arc legal obstacles now existing and handicapping Mich effort aid thee should be swept away to preserve to the tanners the right of marketing their products through a co operative system, which not only will in sure a great economy in handling but will have a Cor responding effect on the living costs. Just a- co-operation in marketing the products of the fields i needed, so are strong farmers' organiza tions essential to the welfare of the industry. Leader ship must be developed among the ranks of the tanners and in accord with their best interests, and these lead ers must be such that they will be in a position to rep resent the industry in its contact with other industries and with the public. Economic efficiency in agriculture is promoted by every agency which adds to the knowl edge, experience, satisfaction, technique and equipment of farmers. Therefore the necessity of organization. With the effecting of such organizations it is to be ' ped that adequate food storage reservoirs, whose need i so manifest, may come into being, foi m tunc of heaviest production foods should be stored away in such quantities will tide over periods oi non production. Properly regulated storage by farmers of essential reserves of food should be encouraged The financing of agriculture is a matter with which the public should be court rued. Extension oi tederal credit through the land banks will .reduce the i ;ost of the capital needed in agriculture and should be made easier of access to all farmers. I feel. tOO, that associated credits of farm communities should be developed under proper regulations and leadership. The foregoing I believe are not only vital to agri culture as the largest single industry of the country but vital to the welfare of all. The reprcsi ntattVCS of Agri culture believe that Capital, Labor and Agriculture must have equal rights and must be entitled to equal treatment. Farmers through their organizations are endeavoring to obtain for agriculture its proper field of influence that all may b subjected to the welfare of tin- whole. The farmers of this country demand that Capital and Labor shall not continue and make more unbearable the economic conditions which have caused the decline in Agriculture, and threaten a further decline that menaces the future of all. There must be a common ground upon which all may meet, that benefits tor all may be developed and award d without favor, without fear, which condition recognizes a finer, truer democracy than that which ha. and is existing. After-War Conditions in Roumania T"V i r ' pot in Europe, 1 errun by kr V German armies during the war, is 1 in returning to normal ac tivity , ial tat ments received in Washington in dicati Heroic measures are, however, having their effect, and but for the great lack of transportation, the handicaps under which the Roumanians are struggling would in large degree be overcome. Thousands upon thousands of ,ar. freight and passenger, were stolen by the enemy during his occupation of Roumania. and a recent artiele on the situation in that country, the writer, who had traversed both Hungary and Rou mania. Stated that the bulk of this rolling stock could be seen on side trackage in Hungary. It is known, too, that tlie Roumanians of Budapest used their military forces to start back toward their own country a large I rtfag of tin ears then held by the Hungarians. It IS Stated in the reports received in Washington that merchandise of all descriptions is needed, and '' id . rend goods may be noted m the Bucharest shop windows. Difficulties in communica tiori are having icriouj effects as are government reg ulations providing against the removal from the coun trj m rj m the purchase of goods. This, of cours . neces itates the seller furnishing extended dit, n ting content with having the money de posited in Roumanian banks. 11 American merchant,' says one official state n nt, iming to Roumania with goods to sell, as some have, is confronted with another difficulty. Finding it impossible to take payment for his merchandise away with him, he wishes to communicate with his principals for instructions or advice, but on account of delays in tnmunicating he must send his telegrams to j'aris hy post to he relayed to the United States if he i- so fortunate to have a representative in Paris to d,. this ior him or he must go himself. Telegrams can be sent, but the confirmations arrive by post so often b -fore the telegrams that even official telegrams an regularly sent by post, a matter of six la to Paris or m re, without counting delays by the censor. French and British merchants have the considerable advantage of being much nearer their headquarters, but it must be said that they are subject to all the other difficulties that American! are. I he rat. of exchange now is declared prohibitive out there is optimism among conservative businesi '''''''' as '" f-: v.v'v oi (he leu, the native coin, this i optimism being based on the hopes of an early ex portation oi grain, petroleum, and timber, th coun-r-vs dm'1 T" ; The lack of sufficient .mans oi transportation and the present high cost of labor n i modify this to a certain extent, but there is no doubt o he country s potential wealth, very considerably in creased b recent additions of territory and population including s,,m, of the richest portions of Europe The Ministry of. Industry and ( ommer.e declares that the .hi, vrreat need of the country is railway ma terial. A certain amoui I of machinery is required and l.ritish manufacturers ha realised the need and have begun to SUppl) the wants "' i . lays one statement, "seems fairly normally clothed Their clothing is produced locall) from cloth also produced locally to some extent, anil from cottons imported In the opinion of con tent people in Roumania the present year's crops of ds will be sufficient to COVCI the Heeds of the population, and ther seems a flight possibility that grain will be available for export There seems no need for any furthei distribution of food ,,r clothing m Roumania in tin form oi relief, With good harv ts the country will b. on a lair way to recovery within a few months. there is iittl likelihood of Bolshevism taking root in the country. Not only are the Roumanian fanners ardent Nationalists, but the apportionment of territory, i;' x i,,i:t and Transylvania, from Russia and Hun- ,M- respectively, and the satisunik: 0( tin national aspirations oi that country for a "Greater Roumania" in to hav been effectual in supplying a strong bul wark against Bolshevik propaganda from Russia gain ing footholds in Countries to the west. Hie Roumanian arm) ii m a fat better state of chs ciplim than when that country entered the war, for n has bed. outfitted and officered largely by French ' f' rif!1 an i srltei d U its leem not to' have broken down its m-.rale.